Friday, December 31, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Grocery Girl (Green Hills #1) by Virginia'dele Smith

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Grocery Girl by Virginia'dele Smith. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post about small towns in books from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Grocery Girl
Series: Green Hills #1
Author: Virginia'dele Smith
Publisher: Books are Ubiquitous
Publication Date: October 30th 2021
Print Length: 272 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
She inhales life with every breath. He’s suffered a world of pain. Can they rise above tragedy to find their happily ever after?

Maree Davenport refuses to let a tearful past rule her future. After losing her parents at the age of five, the big-hearted fabric designer is determined to embrace her feelings and find happiness no matter what. So when she literally runs over a handsome new firefighter in the produce section, the hopeless romantic is certain she’s just collided with destiny.

Everyone Rhys Larsen ever loved has died. And though he may have hit it off with the pretty girl at the store, the haunted EMT knows better than to let her into his heart. But when an accident leaves her wounded and in need of care, he vows to nurse her back to health.

As Maree struggles to break through the grieving man’s walls, she fears his deep-seated superhero complex will make him unreachable. And as Rhys grapples with trying to protect the beautiful woman from his curse, he worries he’ll have to choose between doing the right thing and true love.

Can this conflicted couple reconcile their opposite takes on adversity and find purpose in each other’s arms?

Grocery Girl is the touching first book in the Green Hills wholesome small-town romance series. If you like strong but vulnerable characters, emotional growth, and quaint backdrops, then you’ll adore Virginia'dele Smith’s celebration of joy.

“Is it safe to return to my candy store?” Mrs. Dawsey asked, beaming under his praise.

“Yes, ma’am. I’ll walk you and Maree back over,” he decided for everyone.

Mrs. Dawsey chattered like a magpie, telling Rhys everything she had noticed about the man in the alley. Rhys didn’t get too far away from her, but Maree was grateful that they went on ahead of her, since she was rather slow on the crutch. By the time she made it to the front door of her quilt studio, he had already seen Mrs. Dawsey to her store and even walked through it to make her feel safe and comfortable.

The short walk from her shop to Maree’s turned out to be plenty of time for Rhys's anger to resurface.

“Why didn’t you call me, Maree?” For a guy who liked to look down when he was unsure of what to say, he had no problem directing his stern gaze right through her eyes and into her heart.

Why must I love him so much?

“I called 911, Rhys. That’s what we all learned to do back in kindergarten, remember?” She was suddenly feeling a little testy herself.

“You just left,” he said, switching gears on her in a heartbeat.

“Yes, I—” She blinked a few times to catch up, but he stopped her before she could explain herself.

“I can’t protect you if you’re gone.”

“Rhys, you’ve taken the very best care of me this week. I can’t tell you how much that has mea—”

“Then let me take care of you now,” he interrupted again, obviously still antsy and agitated.

“No,” she replied.

“Because I can’t keep you safe.” His words were flat and defeated, said as both a question and a statement of fact.

“No, you can’t, Rhys.”
Ashli Montgomery is a wife, a momma, and an author whose passion is sharing love stories, books, quilts, yoga, recipes, and all of her favorite things in life. She is quilting to mend the mind by spearheading and educating a community of friends who love quilts and quilting but hate Alzheimer’s disease through Quilt 2 End ALZ, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she launched to use her quilting hobby as a platform to advocate for an end to Alzheimer's disease.

Ashli writes under the pen name Virginia’dele Smith to honor Syble Virginia Tidwell, Adele Gertrude Baylin, and Etta Jean Smith. These three cherished grandmothers were beautiful role models, teaching Ashli to love without judgment and to always put family first. Through Grandma Syble’s journals and appetite for books, through Momadele’s priceless cards and handwritten letters, and through many, many hours of visiting over fabric at Mema’s kitchen island, Ashli also learned to treasure words.

- What is it about small town romance that draws people in?

Small towns are magical; they draw people in because we feel pulled to belong there, to be part of the community, to be “in the know” of local gossip, local history, and local activities.

Small towns feel exclusive – only a select few people exist there, so we crave the inclusivity that comes with being part of that set. The surest way to attract us is to not invite us. We don’t want to be left out, so we immediately yearn to be welcomed into the fold with open arms, we want to be wanted, and we desire that elusive membership to the group.

Small towns also promote a sense of community that is often missing in big cities. The people in a small town know one another on a deeper level; they share history and stories. They have inside jokes, and we want to be on the inside with them. We need to know those jokes, and we desperately want to be part of their inner sphere. I believe that humans are wired to connect to one another; we aren’t made to walk through life alone. Small towns are wonderful conduits for connection, for providing a place to be loved and appreciated for being yourself.

There is less anonymity in a small town. Everyone knows everyone else. More than that, everyone takes care of everyone else. Not only do the residents of a small town feel that strong sense of community mentioned above, but they also take it one step further, looking after their family, friends, and neighbors. It’s healthy to lean on one another instead of trudging through life carrying our burdens without help. Small towns support and promote that assistance. It feels good to be helped, and it feels even better to give help. Small towns make us feel good.

Best of all, small towns are romantic. They have beautiful streets and parks for walking and talking, cozy restaurants for dates and coffee, and adorable festivals and events for working together. True, small towns are often romanticized in books and movies, but at their heart, small towns are the perfect setting for meeting that perfect person, discovering love, and securing a happily ever after.
Virginia'dele Smith will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility for this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

  2. This sounds like the perfect start to a great series!

  3. Congratulations on your recent release of Grocery Girl, Virginia'dele! I enjoyed the guest post, the excerpt and following the tour and learning about your book, which sounds like a great read for me and I like the cover! Good luck with your book and I hope the tour was a success! Have a happy & successful New Year!

  4. sounds like a fun one

  5. I love the cover and the excerpt.

  6. The cover looks great. Sounds like a story that I would love.

  7. Have a fun safe and fun night :)

  8. This sounds like a very interesting book.

  9. Nice cover. I liked the blurb and excerpt. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  10. What a beautiful cover. Happy New Year !